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Master of Science in Biological Sciences

This course is available


Level of Study

Master's Degree


1 year

Next start date



The Master of Science (MSc) programme enables you to pursue advanced study in your area of interest with the opportunity to work on independent research.

Programme overview

Studying for an MSc is an opportunity for committed scientists to focus on a relevant area of interest or practise and pursue an advanced qualification. While taught masters will provide you with specialist training in your chosen field, a research masters will develop advanced research skills, working alongside Faculty of Science researchers - many of whom are major contributors in their field. Late Year Semester will start in November.

120-point MSc

Most students enter an MSc following completion of a PGDipSci. You will need to complete 120 points (maximum of 160 points) in a specialisation within one year of full-time study or two years of part-time study (research masters) or four years of part-time study (taught masters). Not all specialisations offer both taught and research options.

240-point MSc

If you enter a MSc directly from an undergraduate degree you will need to complete 240 points (maximum of 280 points) in a specialisation in two years of full-time study or four years of part-time study (research masters) or six years of part-time study (taught masters). Not all specialisations offer both taught and research options.

Biological Sciences

Postgraduate study in Biological Sciences focuses on research. Due to the School’s strong links with industry, there may be opportunity to collaborate on research projects with other faculties, or companies such as AgResearch, the Department of Conservation and the Crown Research Institutes.

You may pursue a wide range of disciplines, from biomedical, microbial and plant biotechnology to environmental, ecological and conservation science. Research interests open for exploration include:

  • Biomedical and Applied Biology
    Metabolism and Physiology, Applied Biochemistry, Genetics and Metagenomics, Cell Biology, Immunology, Stem Cell Biology, Neuroscience
  • Cellular, Molecular and Organismal Biology
    Biochemistry, Plant Molecular Science, Microbiology, Genetics, Structural Biology, Mass Spectrometry
  • Ecology, Evolution and Behaviour
    Ecology and Evolution, Behaviour, Conservation and Biosecurity, Ecophysiology, Systematics and Biodiversity

Master of Science (MSc) in Biological Sciences 120-point (one-year) research masters

Master of Science in Biological Sciences: BIOSCI 796 Thesis in Biological Sciences

Where could this programme take you?

As a graduate of the MSc programme you will be skilled in a focused area of expertise, and better equipped to find employment in your chosen field. The MSc is a vital qualification if you want to pursue employment in a research-led area, or progress further academically.

Further study options

Doctor of Philosophy

1 December start available for 120-point research masters only, subject to supervisor availability.

Entry criteria

Research 120 points:

You must have completed one year of postgraduate study, following an undergraduate degree, at a recognised university (or similar institution), in a similar field to your intended specialisation. You will need a GPE of 5.0.

Research 240 points:

You must have completed an undergraduate degree in science in a similar field to your intended specialisation at a recognised university (or similar institution) with a GPE of 5.0.

IELTS (Academic): Overall score of 6.5 and no bands less than 6.0; Internet-based TOEFL (iBT): Overall score of 90 and written score of 21; Paper-based TOEFL: Overall score of 68 and a writing score of 21; Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) or Cambridge English Proficiency (CPE): Overall score of 176 and no bands below 169; Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic: Overall score of 58 and no PTE Communicative score below 50; Foundation Certificate in English for Academic Purposes (FCertEAP): Grade of B-; Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB): 85.

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